Sunday, September 28, 2014

Black Hills Bugle Boys

Last year, during my Black Hills elk hunt, I experienced one of the most breathtaking shows in nature. I had a front row seat to watch several bull elk serenade their harem of cows.  I was unsuccessful in my quest to bag a mighty bull elk, but I was extremely successful in becoming infected with "elk fever". I decided after last year's hunt that I wanted to return to the Black Hills to capture the bugling elk with a better video camera than my iPhone. I did that this past weekend. 

The Black Hills' fall foliage was in full bloom on this beautiful fall morning when I encountered two separate bulls and captured some remarkable video of each. The first bull you'll see in the below video walked right up on me as I was following his call in the forest. We surprised each other when the 5x5 bull popped over a ridge that I was climbing. I had just a moment's notice when I heard a branch snap. It took me a few seconds to slowly get the camera on him. 

Our encounter lasted less than three minutes before he circled around downwind of me and didn't like what he smelled. I did not follow him because there was another bugle further into the woods. 

The second elk gave me plenty of warning. He was bugling as he approached and I captured video from about 75 yards on in. He got to within 15 yards of me and this unbelievable 6x6 specimen gave me the greatest thrill I've had in the Great Outdoors. My encounter with him lasted more than 8 minutes before he walked off into the woods. 

These two encounters with the majestic wapiti did not satiate my yearning to capture video of the the forest's most unique serenade. They whet my appetite for more experiences like these. 

Enjoy Mother Nature at her finest in the video below. Be sure to turn up the volume to hear the elk's haunting and eerie love song!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 2012 SDADA Column

I've just returned from my 8th NADA Washington Conference representing South Dakota dealers. While I'm always proud to represent our state's dealers, I especially enjoy the Washington Conference for several reasons. 

We always have as many dealers as any other state at the conference, which considering our numbers, is impressive enough. Our delegation is always engaged and up to speed on the issues. We have had an impressive NextGen dealer each year the program has been in place. Significantly, we always have a good time at the event!

Trace, Darrel, and Bruce kept up the tradition of a strong delegation of South Dakota dealers - they understand and communicate the issues to our Congressional delegation so well. Myron has great rapport with Noem, Thune and Johnson's offices and so many at NADA as well. Max Patnoe is a truly impressive young man. We can look forward to him being a strong voice for dealer issues.

So I was especially proud to be one of more than 400 new-car dealers and dealer association executives from across the country urging lawmakers to support NADA’s top priority issue, H.R. 5403, which rescinds the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s flawed guidance on auto lending (see below). We spoke to Senators Thune and Johnson. We were not able to see Representative Noem because she was voting (they actually take votes in the House!). We did speak to a staffer in her office.
In a nutshell, Senator Thune supports our issues but everything that could be considered "our issues" is in the 300+ bill log jam that Harry Reid has created between the House and the Senate. Representative Noem is supportive of our agenda. Senator Johnson told us that none of our issues would be discussed before his term expires.

It was a successful conference. Thanks to Trace, Darrel, Bruce, Max and Myron for doing the important job of being the "Voice of the Dealer" in our nation's Capitol.

NADA, NAMAD and AIADA Issue Statement on CFPB Proposal

In response to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposal to oversee larger nonbank auto finance companies, the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD) and the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) issued the following statement:

“As stated on numerous occasions, NADA, NAMAD and AIADA strongly oppose discrimination in any form and fully support the efforts of the CFPB, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and other federal agencies to eliminate it from the marketplace.

“However, the CFPB has again failed to fully disclose its methodology for measuring for the presence of disparate impact. There are legitimate, market-based reasons for disparities in interest rates – from monthly budget constraints, to the presence of more competitive offers, to inventory reduction considerations – all of which are nondiscriminatory and all of which can be documented in the transaction. A better solution would be for lenders to adopt a robust retail compliance program that documents the basis of the pricing decision to effectively reduce the risk of discrimination in the purchasing process. The Department of Justice has created such a risk mitigation model, and we encourage the bureau not to overlook this common sense approach to addressing fair credit risks in the auto financing market.

“With respect to the proxy methodology report released by the CFPB, many of the questions that Congress and others have asked remain unanswered. We look forward to rigorous peer review to ensure that the tools the bureau is using to address fair credit concerns may actually accomplish its goals.”

OSHA Repeals Dealer Recordkeeping Exemptions

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently repealed a number of industry exemptions from its mandate that employers with 11 or more employees keep a workplace injury and illness log, including one for car dealers that dates back to the 1980s. Effective January 1, 2015, car dealers must use OSHA Form 300 to record workplace injuries and illnesses.  By February 1, 2016, they must also post an OSHA Form 300A summary of the workplace injury and illnesses that occurred in 2015. Dealers can access an OSHA fact sheet on the rule and an online tool to train employees on how to fill out the newly required forms. 

As a concession, the final rule contains a commitment by OSHA to review the efficacy of today’s changes in two years, the direct result of NADA’s unwavering opposition to the exemption repeal, first proposed by OSHA in 2011. Regulatory Affairs will soon issue an all-member FAQ on the topic. Questions can be directed to NADA Regulatory Affairs at 703.821.7040 or

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Photograph(ic) Memories

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I have lost both my Father and my Mother in the past eight months. With that, came the difficult task of sorting through their belongings and determining what to do with them.

Working together, my sisters, Christy and Lisa, my brother-in-law, Randy, my wife, Judy, and I have made tremendous progress on what was an overwhelming chore. One facet of job was to compile and organize the family photos.

Let me just say here that I love photographs. I love taking them and I love looking at them. I love cataloging them and sequencing them. I love the reminiscing, laughing and crying that they bring. Most of all, I love sharing them!

Fortunately, I had started the process of sorting through my parents' photographs some time ago. Despite my mother's admonitions, I had secretly (I thought) checked out some of the family photo albums, taken the photographs out, scanned them, reinserted them back into the albums and returned the albums. I had a pretty good head start on scanning these early memories.

I am so happy that I had done so because it made the task of photo tributes at my Mom's and Dad's respective funerals so much easier. I don't know how or if we could have pulled those together in time if I hadn't done so.

But we found so many, many more photographs when we began sifting through my parents' belongings. I found photos of my father's childhood, my mother's childhood and of both sets of grandparents' early days in addition to many more of my sisters and me. There are photos of family gatherings, landmark events (First communions, graduations, birthdays, etc.), childhood friends and extended family. There are photos of community and region events and landmarks. I felt like the treasure hunter that found the jackpot!

So I have been very busy scanning photos over the past few months. In doing so, I have had the opportunity to relive many childhood memories. I will be sharing some of my favorite photos from this plunder in the coming weeks. Some will come with a short description while others don't need it. I'll save the thousand words in those cases and let the photos speak for themselves.

Please feel free to chime in with the comments on these photos. Do they remind you of a certain time in your childhood? Do they evoke some early memory? Did you have a similar story or experience? Hit the comment button below and share!


All My Grandparents at my Baptism
Dad liked his full-size Buicks...
...and Lincolns

Nope..not a costume party. Those 70's clothes! Wow!

Father/Son photo (check out those ears!)

Pepsi - our family dog

Successful fishing outing with Grandpa and Grandma Knust

Easter Family Photo

Family trip to Washington, DC. Photo with then Congressman, later Senator Jim Abdnor

With my American Legion coach!

More to come later...